Agape Love; Genuine Love of God is True Love

God is agape love. His love is genuine and true! Learn to love the Lord and each other with this love, it is a precious gift from God.

Updated: Sunday, December 4, 2022

Agape Love; the Genuine Love of God is True Love


Beloved let us love one another, for love is from God. Everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. 8 He who does not love does not know God for God is love. 9 The love of God was made known through us. God sent his only-begotten Son into the world that we might live through him [1 John 4:7-9 (NSB)].

Agape love

God’s genuine love for us is free; nothing a person does can earn agape love. What loving father would require that his children do something to earn his love? God is the Father of all who are born into His family. He shows His love by giving us what we need.

This Bible study is about the love that God gives to those who are born of His Holy Spirit. They are the (born again) children of God.

Key Points:

  1. Genuine love

    The genuine (sincere/true) love revealed: Here is how we can know what genuine love really is: It was [demonstrated by] Jesus laying down His life [on the cross] for us. And [because of that] we [too] should [be willing to] lay down our lives for [the sake of helping] our brothers [and sisters] [1 John 3:16 (AUV)].

  2. Not earned

    This love is not earned but given because of its source, God. We love, because God first loved us. 20 If a man says ‘I love God,’ and yet hates his Brother, he is a liar; for the man who does not love his Brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen. 21 Indeed, we have this Command from God—’He who loves God must also love his Brother’ [1 John 4:19-21 (TCNT)].

  3. New commandment

    Jesus gave a new command: I give you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, so you also must love each other. 35 This is how everyone will know that you are my disciples, when you love each other” [John 13:34-35 (CEB)].

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Picture of pink rose for the agape love bible study
God is LOVE
agape love

From the Spirit

Study 1 – agape love comes from the Spirit of God (i.e., the Holy Spirit). Learn to show love by your actions.

But the fruit that comes from having the Holy Spirit in our lives is: love, joy, peace, not giving up, being kind, being good, having faith, 23 being gentle, and being the boss over our own desires. The Law is not against these things [Galatians 5:22-23 (NLV)].

A conditional gift from God

Agápē is the only form of love gifted by God (to those who have faith in Him). Some believe this is unconditional love in fact according to The Voice translation: “The Holy Spirit produces a different kind of fruit: unconditional love“. Be careful, many phrases like ‘unconditional love’ are not in the Scriptures (Bible) and do not have significant backing or support. Allow me to demonstrate: to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit, one must have faith (Galatians 3:14).

Faith in God becomes the condition for receiving the Holy Spirit, without it, we cannot please God (Hebrews 11:6). If we do not have the Holy Spirit, we do not have agape love. Without the Holy Spirit, you do not meet the condition required to receive this (type of) love.


Do everything in love. 1 Corinthians 16:14

Jesus says this love (agape love) is the greatest form of love. The greatest love you can have for your friends is to give your life for them [John 15:13 (GNT)]. ♦ This love is more of purpose than of feeling.

The love from God is from the Greek ἀγάπη agápē (ä-gä’-pā) love (affection; benevolence {desire to do good}, charity. It is an unselfish (willing to make sacrifices) spiritual love.

Faith, hope, and love are permanent; love is the greatest of the three graces.

So these three things continue forever [endure; remain]: faith, hope, and love. And the greatest of these is love [1 Corinthians 13:13 (EXB)].

To get the best meaning of this love, let us turn to the Scriptures:

If I speak with the languages of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become sounding brass, or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I dole out all my goods to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body so that I may boast, but do not have love, it profits me nothing [1 Corinthians 13:1-3 (NHEB)].

What does love do?

As you learn how to love or as your love matures/grows. These are some of the things agape love will bring about in your life. They are natural acts of true and genuine love.

Matthew 5:44

  • Jesus said… Love your enemies.
  • bless them that curse you, {i.e., bless – “speak well of” or “speak well to:”[1]; curse – “to pray against or to wish evil against a person or thing,”[2]; “give them good words for their bad words[3]}
  • do good to them that hate you,
  • and pray for them which spitefully use you, and persecute you; {i.e., Pray for those who do bad things to you and who make it hard for you. (NLV)}


  • Paul tells the Corinthians, “…Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up.” [1 Corinthians 8:1 (NSB)].
  • According to 1 Corinthians 13:6, Those who have love are full of joy (rejoices) to see others walking in (living according to) truth.
  • love will cause people to forgive each other for many sins [covers a multitude of sins; Proverbs 10:12; Luke 7:46–47] 1 Peter 4:8 (EXB).
  • 1 John 4:18, There is no [reason for] fear if one [really] loves, but a complete love removes fear [from us] because fear produces punishment [i.e., mental anxiety], and the person who is [always] afraid does not have a complete love. (AUV)
  • Love puts up with anything and everything that comes along; it trusts, hopes, and endures no matter what. 1 Corinthians 13:7 (The Voice)
  • Agape love is the perfect merger. It brings mercy, kindness, meekness, gentleness, and patience together.

Colossians 3:12-14

Therefore, as the chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on hearts of mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience; 13 Bearing with one another, and forgiving one another. If any man has a complaint against another; just as Christ forgave you, so you do the same. 14 And above all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity. (RKJNT)

Most importantly, love each other deeply… 1 Peter 4:8a (NCV)

Agape love is…

Love is patient, and is kind; [1 Corinthians 13:4 (RKJNT)] ♦ …love is from God… [1 John 4:7 (NWR)] ♦ …love is perfected (accomplished) (matured) through us… [1 John 4:12 (NSB)]

Charity does not/is not/never

love does not envy or boast, and is not arrogant; 1 Corinthians 13:4 (RKJNT)

love is not rude, self-seeking, easily provoked to anger, and love never keeps account of wrongs or rejoices at evil, but rejoices in the triumph of truth; [based on 1 Corinthians 13:5-6 (OEB)].

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Picture of blue sky white clouds for the agape love bible study
God loves you – do you love Him? – Agape Love

Love of God

Study 2 – the genuine love of God is available to all. Remain in His love; obey God!

Romans 5:3-5 and 8

And not only so, but let us have joy in our troubles: in the knowledge that trouble gives us the power of waiting; 4 And waiting gives experience; and experience, hope: 5 And hope does not put to shame; because our hearts are full of the love of God through the Holy Spirit which is given to us.

8 But God has made clear his love to us, in that, when we were still sinners, Christ gave his life for us. (BBE)

The phrase ‘love of God’ has two meanings

  1. Love that comes from God to His people. Examples:
    1. He gave us control of and over the earth: And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth [Genesis 1:26 (KJV)]. [reference: Hebrews 2:5-9 (8)]
    2. He gave up His life and suffered for us [Hebrews 9:23-28 (26)].
  2. The respect and adoration people have for and obedience to God.
    1. We must show that we love God by giving our lives to Him [Romans 6:15-23 (16, 18 and 22-23)].
    2. We must go through this life in obedient fear and respect for God. (see related ‘Bible studies’ below)
Note: The Scriptures listed are samples of what is in the Bible to support the stated.


1 John 5:2-4 shows how the agape love of God is revealed.

By this we know [without any doubt] that we love the children of God: [expressing that love] when we love God and obey His commandments. 3 For the [true] love of God is this: that we habitually keep His commandments and remain focused on His precepts. And His commandments and His precepts are not difficult [to obey]..

4 For everyone born of God is victorious and overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has conquered and overcome the world—our [continuing, persistent] faith [in Jesus the Son of God] (AMP).

Jesus said “If you love me, you will keep (obey) my commandments!” [John 14:15 (NSB)] He wants us to do what He says to show our love of God. Prove that you love God, obey Him!

I correct and discipline everyone I love. Take this seriously, and change the way you think and act [Revelation 3:19 (GW)].


In John 15:9-10 Jesus urges you to remain (abide) in the love of God.

As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. 10 If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. (NKJV)

The Lord said in John 14:23-24 If a man loves me, he will keep my word: and my Father will love him, and we will come to him, and make our abode with him. 24 He who does not love me does not keep my words: and the word which you hear is not mine, but the Father’s who sent me. (RKJNT)

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True Love – Agape Love

True Love

Study 3 – true love comes in many ways. But must be shown by loving others from the heart.

1 Peter 1:22-23

You have made your souls pure by obeying the truth through the Holy Spirit. This has given you a true love for the Christians. Let it be a true love from the heart. 23 You have been given a new birth. It was from a seed that cannot die. This new life is from the Word of God which lives forever. (NLV)

True love, what a wonderful thing to have—a love that is sincere and passionate (fervent; intent) but does not involve physical intimacy. It is a love that is from the heart. The first love mentioned in verse 22 is from the Greek word φιλαδελφία
philadelphia fē-lä-del-fē’-ä, commonly known as ‘brotherly love’. The second love in verse 22 is from the Greek word ἀγαπάω
agapaō ä-gä-pä’-ō, a lesser known type of love; according to the Teknia Greek Dictionary “…the active love his people are to have for God, each other, and even enemies”.

Brotherly and Spousal Love

Our love (philadelphia; fraternal affection; brotherly love) for other believers in Christ must be genuine, sincere, and true love. True love is authentic and pure. It is the faithful love* that a husband must have for his wife. The love that Christ has for the church.

* agapao is the verb form of agape. Reminder: a verb is used to show physical/mental actions, and/or a physical (state of being) / mental (state of mind) condition.

Ephesians 5:25 and 33

Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; 33 Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband. (KJV)

Colossians 3:18-19

Wives, be subject to your husbands [out of respect for their position as protector, and their accountability to God], as is proper and fitting in the Lord. 19 Husbands, love your wives [with an affectionate, sympathetic, selfless love that always seeks the best for them] and do not be embittered or resentful toward them [because of the responsibilities of marriage]. (AMP)

Romans 12:9 begins with agape love and verse 10, with philadelphia love. Joining affection for other believers with love from God is a strong message in the New Testament. It is selfless true regard for others. Placing their needs ahead of yours. This portion of the letter to the church in Rome is another example. Do you show these forms of love?

Romans 12:9-11

Be sincere in your love for others. Hate everything that is evil and hold tight to everything that is good. 10 Love each other as brothers and sisters and honor others more than you do yourself. 11 Never give up. Eagerly follow the Holy Spirit and serve the Lord. (CEV)

Active love

True love is shown by actions. Make your love known by what you do for, and how you treat others. You can say you love a person; you prove it when you act like it! There is nothing like seeing a loving family as they help each other go through tough times. As we, brothers and sisters in Christ, become more like Jesus our love should grow more and more for each other.

Do not be surprised if the world hates you, Christian brothers. 14 We know we have passed from death into life. We know this because we love the Christians. The person who does not love has not passed from death into life. 15 A man who hates his brother is a killer in his heart. You know that life which lasts forever is not in one who kills.

16 We know what love is because Christ gave His life for us. We should give our lives for our brothers. 17 What if a person has enough money to live on and sees his brother in need of food and clothing? If he does not help him, how can the love of God be in him?

18 My children, let us not love with words or in talk only. Let us love by what we do and in truth. 19 This is how we know we are Christians. It will give our heart comfort for sure when we stand before Him.
1 John 3:13-19 (NLV)

The Thessalonians set a good example. Paul acknowledged what they did in 1 Thessalonians 1:3, “we thank him for all that you have done because of your faith. And we thank him for the work you have done because of your love. (ERV)”

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Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco, CA; May the Lord greatly increase your love for each other and for all people, just as we love you. 1 Thessalonians 3:12 (ISV) for agape love

Increasing Love

Study 4 – A love that grows more and more for others.

May the Lord greatly increase your love for each other and for all people, just as we love you. 1 Thessalonians 3:12 (ISV)

Growing love – in knowledge and judgment

This is my prayer for you: that your love will grow more and more; that you will have knowledgeG1922 and understandingG144 with your love; 10 that you will see the difference between what is important and what is not and choose what is important; that you will be pure and blameless for the coming of Christ; 11 that your life will be full of the many good works that are produced by Jesus Christ to bring glory and praise to God. Philippians 1:9-11 (ERV)

epignosis – knowledge
G1922 ἐπίγνωσις epignosis (e-piy’-gnō-sis) n. the knowledge of right and wrong; i.e., making the correct choices. [from G1921] KJV: (ac-)knowledge(-ing, – ment)
aisthesis – understanding
G144 αἴσθησις aisthesis (ais’-thee-sis) n. perception, not only by the senses but also by the intellect; cognition, discernment; [from G143] KJV: judgment

So how should our love increase?

We learn to care more about what the Lord wants than our own desires. It was one of the issues in Philippi. Most of them were selfish.
I have no one else like Timothy [1:1], who truly [genuinely] cares for you. 21 Other people are interested only in their own lives [pursue their own interests/concerns], not in the work [the interests/concerns; the things] of Jesus Christ.
Philippians 2:20-21 (EXB)
Use the right motive—love
Apparently, even the preachers had not not grown to put God’s interest first. They were guilty of envy, strife, and selfish ways. We must choose to minister because we love the Lord above all things.
Some certainly preach Christ with jealous [envy] and competitive motives [strife, rivalry], but others preach with good motives. 16 They are motivated by love, because they know that I’m put here to give a defense of the gospel; 17 the others preach Christ because of their selfish ambition. They are insincere, hoping to cause me more pain while I’m in prison. Philippians 1:15-17 (CEB)
Choose to live humbly and in unity
We must learn to live humbly, i.e., within our means or with what we can afford without putting ourselves in debt. Don’t compete with others.
Christ encourages you, and his love comforts you. God’s Spirit unites you, and you are concerned for others. 2 Now make me completely happy! Live in harmony by showing love for each other. Be united in what you think, as if you were only one person. 3 Don’t be jealous or proud, but be humble and consider others more important than yourselves. 4 Care about them as much as you care about yourselves. Philippians 2:1-4 (CEV)
Continue loving each other as brothers and sisters in Christ. Hebrews 13:1 (ERV)

Your love for each other should increase

Brothers and sisters, we should always thank God for you. That is only right, because your faith is growing more and more. We also thank God that the love you all have for one another is increasing. 4 So among God’s churches we brag about the fact that you don’t give up easily. 2 Thessalonians 1:3-4 (NIRV)

As our faithfulness to God grows we should also experience increasing love. We continue to grow and develop in our natural life, And we should also grow and develop in our Spiritual life! [1 John 5:1-5] No one says it is easy, loving the people of God can challenge the best Christian, but be assured it is worth every difficult moment. How difficult is it for others to love you, is it easy? You might find it is not easy for others to love you but they love you in spite of.

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Agape Love wrap-up

Agape love is perfect love. 1 John 4:12-19 best illustrates this.

No one has ever seen God. But if we love one another, God lives in us. His love is made complete in us. 13 Here’s how we know that we are joined to him and he to us. He has given us his Holy Spirit.

14 The Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. We have seen it and are witnesses to it. 15 God lives in anyone who agrees that Jesus is the Son of God. This kind of person remains joined to God.

16 So we know that God loves us. We depend on it. God is love. Anyone who leads a life of love is joined to God. And God is joined to them. 17 Suppose love is fulfilled among us. Then we can be without fear on the day God judges the world. Love is fulfilled among us when in this world we are like Jesus.

18 There is no fear in love. Instead, perfect love drives away fear. That’s because fear has to do with being punished. The one who fears does not have perfect love. 19 We love because he loved us first. (NIRV)

Perfect love

Agape love is perfect love, it comes from God. You freely receive it and it cost nothing to use it. So give it to others and show them how to use it. Let everyone know you are God’s child; show genuine love to both God and others.

My dear friends, God loves you, and we know he has chosen you to be his people. 5 When we told you the good news, it was with the power and assurance that come from the Holy Spirit, and not simply with words. You knew what kind of people we were and how we helped you. 6 So, when you accepted the message, you followed our example and the example of the Lord. You suffered, but the Holy Spirit made you glad.1 Thessalonians 1:4-6 (CEV)

Show your agape love! I pray that you have enjoyed and will make the most of this Bible study. Blessings to you and your loved ones— Tim. ☺

Love never ends {never fails; will never become unproductive}. 1 Corinthians 13:8

Agape Love Outline

Note: parenthesis (#) encloses the key verses.

  • Summary

    1 John 3:16-23 {focus verses: 16-19 (16 and 18)}; 1 John 4:7-11 (7-9); 1 John 4:17-21 (19-21); John 13:31-35 (24-25).

  • Fruit of the Spirit

    Galatians 5:16-26 (22-23)

    • Gift from God: Galatians 3:10-14 (14); Hebrews 11:1-7 (6)
    • Definitions: 1 Corinthians 16:13-18 (14); John 15:9-17 (13); 1 Corinthians 13:1-13 (1-3 and 13)
    • What does love do? 1 Corinthians 8:1-3 (1) and 13:1-13 (6-7); Matthew 5:43-48 (44); 1 Peter 4:7-11 (8); Colossians 3:12-17 (12-14); 1 John 4:17-21 (18);
    • Agape love is: 1 John 4:7-16 (7 and 12)
    • Love does/is not: 1 Corinthians 13:1-13 (4-6)
  • Love of God

    Romans 5:1-11 (5 and 8)

    • Two meanings: Genesis 1:26-31 [(26); reference: Hebrews 2:5-9 (8)]; Hebrews 9:23-28 (26)
    • Revealed: 1 John 5:1-5 (2-4); John 14:15-18 (15); Revelation 3:14-22 (19)
    • Remain: John 15:9-17 (9-10); John 14:19-24 (23-24); Romans 8:31-39 (38-39)
  • True love

    1 Peter 1:22-25 (22)

    • Brotherly/Spousal: Ephesians 5:22-33 (25 and 33); Colossians 3:18-25 (19)
    • Selfless: Romans 12:9-21 (9-13)
    • Actions: 1 John 3:16-23 (16 and 18); 1 Thessalonians 1:2-10 (3)
  • Increasing love

    1 Thessalonians 3:11-13 (12)

    • Growing love – in knowledge and judgment: Philippians 1:3-11 (9-11)
    • So how should our love increase?: Philippians 2:1-4 and 19-30 (20-21), 1:12-18 (15-17), and Hebrews 13:1-6 (1).
    • Your love for each other should increase: 2 Thessalonians 1:3-12 (3-4).
  • Wrap-up

    1 John 4:12-19 (12); 1 Thessalonians 1:2-10 (4-6)

Related studies/lessons/snacks for further Spiritual growth:

Question for “agape love”: Is God the source of your love?

Note: The Greek word eros is not used in the New Testament. What is Eros Love?

See what is available on the Sound Truth Ministry website.


[1]Barnes Notes ♦||♦ [2]Vine’s Expository Dictionary of NT Words ♦||♦ [3]Matthew 5 Clarke’s Commentary


One thought on “Agape Love; Genuine Love of God is True Love

  1. Agape Love - beautiful rose
    You are loved. Let everyone know that by showing love to others and the Lord with genuine/true love.… ?

    Message in the picture:
    God is LOVE – agape love
    Verse for the day:
    Romans 12:9-11 Be sincere in your love for others. Hate everything that is evil and hold tight to everything that is good.

    10 Love each other as brothers and sisters and honor others more than you do yourself.

    11 Never give up. Eagerly follow the Holy Spirit and serve the Lord.
    [Contemporary English Version (CEV)]

    Go to this Bible study; click on/tap the picture or link.
    Friday, November 10, 2017

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